Dr. Éric Dewailly, Arctic expert, honoured at conference in Ottawa

Renowned northern researcher, Dr. Éric Dewailly, who died in a rockslide in June, was honoured at the Arctic Change Conference in Ottawa this week.

Laval University professor died in rockslide on island in the Indian Ocean earlier this year

Dr. Éric Dewailly, 59, died on Réunion Island on June 17 when a cliff collapsed above him and family members while picnicking at the foot of Biberon Falls. (Laval University)

A renowned northern researcher has been honoured with an award at a major Arctic conference in Ottawa this week.

At the Arctic Change 2014 conference, an event that brings together more than 1,000 people to talk about the opportunities and challenges of the Arctic today, delegates honoured Dr. Éric Dewailly with the Mentor Award. 

The award is given to people such as Dewailly, 59, who was killed this past summer in a rock slide on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean, who dedicate their time and efforts to helping people build their careers.

Some consider Dewailly a medical "pioneer" and "the founding father of our line of research into population health and best practices," Gertrude Bourdon, the executive-director of Laval University's teaching hospital, said at the time of Dewailly's death. 

​​Dewailly has been internationally recognized for his work in the Canadian Arctic. He studied the endocrine-disrupting effects of environmental toxins in the seafood that makes up the traditional Inuit diet.

ArcticNet, an organization that studies climate change in the Arctic, did a special tribute to Dewailly on Wednesday.

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